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Always Wrong (1)

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Always Wrong (1)

6 minuten leestijd

In our entire life, on our side it will always be: “Incapable of doing any good and prone to all manner of wickedness” (Compendium, Q. 12); “Through God we shall do valiantly” (Psalm 60:12); “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13); “More than conquerors through Him” (Romans 8:37); etc. But then everything is wrong from our side. We never receive any diplomas. We do try to crown ourselves, but God will cause that to fail if we belong to those people whom God has loved from eternity. The Lord watches very closely over His people from every side, and that is God’s great goodness, even though we cannot always see that. They shall come to an end with all their own ways and intentions.

Then the practice of our life will be, “The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned!” (Lamentations 5:16). All the crowns which we braid for ourselves will wither, and God will set them on fire before they come upon our heads. God spares no flesh. I do not think that there is one way from which the people of God can venture inviolate.

As a youth I heard an experienced child of God who at the end of his prayer always asked, “Lord, that Thy Name may be glorified, and that we may become ashamed and embarrassed.” Then I thought, “How peculiarly that man prays.” Years later in the same congregation I heard an elder pray, “Lord, make atonement for my speaking and for my silence.” Huntington would say, “These are evidences that the police are near.” Those are all people who became experienced by practice, people who had knowledge of themselves, knowledge of Christ, and knowledge of God. They were people who had learned to know themselves in their abominable and God-dishonoring existence, by virtue of their deep fall in Adam.

It is something for our self-exalting flesh to be always beaten down and oppressed. God will give His grace and glory to His people, but our flesh, and the deeds of our flesh, will never be taken under God’s protection. We must be brought down, and all the Absaloms which we have must be pierced through with three darts. God has only His own honor in view, and that honor He will receive. Christ has never sought nor intended anything but the honor of His Father. And all those people, who have become partakers of that divine nature, stand in a relationship with the honor of God, and say, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy Name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake” (Psalm 115:1).

For there remains no honor for us in that respect, but upon Christ shall His crown flourish. Through all the cutting off, trials, and disappointments, those people are willing to submit to that. That is to say, the Lord leads His people through such ways by His eternal wisdom. By oppression they are exercised, and by suffering they are sanctified, because God uses all those ways in His eternal love to bring His people to that place where they will take a delight in weakness, necessities, in persecution, crosses, and oppression. And that will be alone by that beloved Spirit, which is known as “Indispensable” for all those poor and miserable people who put their trust in the Name of the Lord. With them it is true within, because God has promised them, “And I will direct their work in truth” (Isaiah 60:8).

There are moments when supernatural grace is given them so that they rejoice in God, because He comes against them and breaks them off from all that self-seeking and selfinstruction. For those who have no knowledge of this, and are wrapped up and satisfied with themselves, this is an unintelligible language. Only those who have a little knowledge of that being broken off, set aside, and humiliating life, will embrace it as the language of their heart and as the life of their soul.

Sometime ago we had a gathering of various friends, and there was yet a little opening given to speak of the ways of the Lord. It was deep into the night when the minister in whose house we were gathered asked me to close before everyone would go to their homes. At the end I asked the Lord to give us rest in the night, and that we might be refreshed by a refreshing sleep. However, all at once there came in my heart — it would have been better if I had asked that we could not sleep, but that we might be brought to a true and sacred unrest concerning the state and condition of our souls for eternity. I felt a little of those words: “All the earth sitteth still” (Zechariah 1:11), and not only that, but for a moment it was as though that former life came back again, “the days of old” (Psalm 77:5).

But, of course, our bodies also have their needs. In His wisdom and goodness the Lord has ordered that the day is given in which to work and the night in which to rest. We even read of the Lord lesus, who once took on our human nature, that He was asleep in the hinder part of the ship, being weary (Mark 5:38). We also read in Psalm 127:2, “For so He giveth His beloved sleep.” Sometimes it can be a wonder to us that our bodies may yet get a little rest, and that we may awaken in the morning strengthened and refreshed, strengthened again to be able to perform our duties. It becomes a wonder, because so often in the night we are as a playball of the devil and we become distressed because of all his attacks, so much so that sweat breaks out on every side. Oh, how we can be plagued because of the deep corruption of our heart, causing us to fear that we shall yet sink away forever. But there is also this: that we have to acknowledge that it is a blessing when it may be as with the poet in Psalm 3:2 (Psalter 414:3):

I laid me down and slept;
I waked, for I was kept
In His divine protection.

However, let us remember that it is also a blessing when it happens that we cannot sleep. Just think back to the time when the Lord first began with us, and we experienced, “In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not” (Psalm 77:2).

— to be continued —

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van woensdag 1 oktober 1997

The Banner of Truth | 28 Pagina's

Always Wrong (1)

Bekijk de hele uitgave van woensdag 1 oktober 1997

The Banner of Truth | 28 Pagina's

PDF Bekijken